1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

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“The ultimate literary bucket list.” —The Washington Post
“If there’s a heaven just for readers, this is it.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that’s as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.

Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton. 

There are nuts and bolts, too—best editions to read, other books by the author, “if you like this, you’ll like that” recommendations , and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned—a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading.

“948 pages later, you still want more!” —THE WASHINGTON POST

From the Publisher


Enormous. Addictive. Engaging. Enlightening.

Imagine a library with 1,000 books to represent a lifetime’s reading, with something for every age, interest, and reading appetite. From Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon to C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed, from The Divine Comedy to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, from fiction to history, mythology to mysteries, this inspiring volume is a browser’s delight.

Written by a veteran bookseller with a knack for helping people discover what to read next, it’s nearly a thousand pages of erudition and enthusiasm in one altogether remarkable book.

Featured books are presented in individual entries, accompanied by rich endnotes offering many additional reading recommendations.




Inviting Entries

Each book is described in a brief, informative, and entertaining essay that is a perfect invitation for a new reader-or a welcome celebration for those returning to a favorite volume.

Author Features

Select authors are profiled in separate entries that give further insight into their books and career.

A Miscellany of Special Lists

Curated by subject or style, or with a particular audience in mind, these special lists at the end of the book offer the reader surprising entry points into the collection.

Praise for 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die




Publisher ‏ : ‎ Workman Publishing Company; Illustrated edition (October 2, 2018)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 960 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1523504455
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1523504459
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.31 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.2 x 1 x 9.7 inches

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